When creating your online course, consider the following features of a distance learning platform.
You’ve already chosen the topic, already recorded the first classes and even developed support materials. The time has come to put your online course on the air, but there is still a question about which platform to choose.
Deciding where and how to publish your course is crucial to ensuring greater flexibility in management, from content to finance, and a friendly learning environment for your students.
See in this article what features are needed for your online course and why.
Necessary features in a distance learning platform
Finding the most important information easily and simply is essential. Some numbers are crucial to measuring the health of your business and finding them quickly, displayed graphically, helps in decision making. The fewer clicks and different reports to know the number of students, their performance, their financial performance, the better. So you can know when to launch a promotion, invest in advertising, new courses and even see your first R$ 1 million in sales in a very beautiful graph.
That distance learning has changed a lot you already know. Good methodology and tutor didactics were and continue to be essential for a good course. But interactivity has been increasingly pointed out as the key to a good assessment.
Some tools shorten the path between tutors and students. Webinars, chats, message boards, discussion forums between students or between students and tutors. Ensuring fast and efficient communication, even by email, makes the learning experience more enjoyable and personal.
Your store shelf. And a store with a messy shelf doesn’t sell. Therefore, be able to upload your video lessons with ease, check the history of publications, if the course is up to date when it was published. Organizing thematic packages with a few clicks, writing notices for specific courses, in short, managing every aspect of your course in a simple way is, once again, one of the ways to optimize your time.
Good content also needs to be diverse. Dynamically exploring available media to aid learning increases student engagement and makes learning more accessible and exciting. That’s why it’s also important to be able to provide all types of formats: audio, video, pdf documents, images. Also, having easy access to these files, knowing which courses and classes are being used.
The most relevant aspects in this regard are organization and control. Each student goes through a bottom-up process that is divided into several stages. Multiply the step, exam and activity of each course by the number of students and you have a huge amount of data to process. Therefore, assess whether the chosen platform provides simplified access to the progress of each student, the number of accesses, date and time of last access. It is always good to send a message of motivation to those who have been away for a long time.
Personalization and Responsiveness
One of the ways to enrich the user experience is to have a website with high usability. An organized, practical and intuitive interface increases your chances of earning a good overall assessment from the student.
In 2016, the Regional Center for Studies for the Development of the Information Society, in its ICT Household survey, pointed out the trend. At the time, 43% of respondents used only their cell phone to access the internet. This generated a response from the EaD sector and motivated the development or adaptation of functionalities on the platforms so that they are partially or fully responsive. That is, they adapt to the screen where the student chooses to watch their course. After all, if the user does everything over the internet, why not study too? In this sense, responsiveness is also one of the most important features for an EaD platform.
But if you’re not an expert in web design and don’t master source code, it’s best to check if the editing interface allows you a minimum of customization. Being able to use your own logo, change the template’s colour palette and even edit the certificate’s appearance are interesting tools that give your brand more personality.
And speaking of the brand. You thought so much about your business name, registered the domain. It would be a waste for your student to memorize the platform name and not your brand name. It may seem like a luxury, but having a big name helps build rapport. If you don’t agree, ask all the brands whose names have become a reference for the product they sell.
Have you already decided what payment methods will be for your course? Bank slip, credit card instalments. Having the ability to export this data when needed for your accounting control or integrate a payment platform, if you already have it, is another advantage that a distance learning platform can offer.
If your course is already online, with students enrolled and payments being made through a separate platform, but your desire is to move to a more integrated system, all in one, don’t worry. There are platforms that allow integration with other systems.
Let’s say you created your online course without reading this article and didn’t know exactly what to have on your checklist when choosing your platform. And now you realized that the chosen platform was quite limited, making you have to resort to plugins or accessory systems to keep your course running with all the necessary functionality. No problem. You can still migrate to another platform. And what about the data you already have? Whether this new platform allows you to import or integrate systems such as your saved courses and exclusive payment platforms is one less question to resolve.